Throughout his career, photojournalist & documentary ﬁlmmaker PF Bentley has covered domestic and international politics. Bentley is known and respected throughout the print and broadcast community for earning unprecedented access to presidential candidates, Heads of State, and Capitol Hill. He was the ﬁrst photojournalist to shoot on the House ﬂoor while in session. Bentley was behind the scenes with President Bill Clinton for his last week in office, Inauguration Day, January 20, 2001, and his last trip on Air Force One to his new life as “Citizen Clinton”. Earlier in that month he covered the historic power sharing deal between the Republicans (Senator Trent Lott) and the Democrats (Senator Tom Daschle).
Bentley returned to Washington after September 11, 2001 (and stayed until November) for NEWSWEEK Magazine to be with lawmakers behind the scenes on Capitol Hill in the wake of the terrorist attacks and subsequent Anthrax crisis. Included in this coverage was his widely acclaimed photograph of President Bush in prayer before speaking to a Joint Session of Congress on September 20. In January of 2002, Bentley was once again on the House ﬂoor to photograph President Bush as he began his historic State of the Union address.
He has covered every presidential campaign and photographed every serious presidential contender since 1980 including Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Geraldine Ferraro, Jesse Jackson, John Glenn, Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, Pat Buchanan, Bill Bradley, and Bill Clinton. Bentley's skill at getting close to his subjects without intruding on the events being recorded earned him several ﬁrst place awards in the campaign category from the University of Missouri School of Journalism prestigious Pictures of the Year Competition. He won his ﬁfth and sixth First Place Picture of the Year awards in March of 1997. Bentley was awarded top honors for his coverage in 1984 of John Glenn's presidential bid, in 1988 for Dan Quayle's vice presidential campaign, 1992 for Bill Clinton's winning campaign, in 1995 for Newt Gingrich's "Contract with America" and twice in 1996 for his coverage of Bob Dole's ﬁnal presidential run. In 2001 Bentley won yet another POY award for his coverage of President Clintonʼs Final Days in Ofﬁce. He has been a Special Corespondent for TIME Magazine and has been published in the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post and in newspapers and magazines around the world.
Bentley has also traveled extensively capturing on ﬁlm some the world's most closely followed political events. During the past few years he has made eight trips to Fidel Castro's Cuba, and sixteen trips to Haiti to photograph the chaotic and often deadly ongoing political turmoil. He covered the collapse of the Noriega regime and the ever- changing political landscape in Panama; Kim Dae Jung's return to South Korea; and the Christiani campaign in El Salvador (during which Bentley also spent time in the mountains with anti-government FMLN guerrillas). In addition Bentley, whose photographs are syndicated worldwide by both TIME Magazine and through his web site, PFPIX.com, has worked in China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and Europe. He has also been featured in most of the "Day in the Life" book series.
In January 1992, Bentley began a 10-month assignment photographing the then presidential hopeful Bill Clinton's campaign. The best-selling result, CLINTON: PORTRAIT OF VICTORY, published by Warner Books, received critical praise for his ability to capture the soul of a politician during hectic and historic times using his exclusive access to the candidate. During the early part of 1995 he documented Newt Gingrich's ﬁrst 100 days in ofﬁce for TIME. His book, NEWT: INSIDE THE REVOLUTION (An Epicenter Communications book published by Rutledge Hill Press),was based on that assignment.
In August 2001 he produced and ﬁlmed an ABC-TV NIGHTLINE about Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. This was his third NIGHTLINE broadcast. After teaching visual journalism at Brooks Institute of Photography and named Educator of the Year for Brooks in 2005, he shot the World Cup for The Travel Channel hosted by Drew Carey in 2006 and was chief cameraman. In 2007 and 2008 he was Senior Producer & Director of Photography for Reason. TV, a bi-coastal web network he created and produced for the Reason Foundation.
From 1999 to 2010 PF was Lead Instructor and Final Cut Pro guru (Bentley is a Certiﬁed Apple Pro in Final Cut Pro) for The Platypus Workshops. He is now conducting his own cinematic journalism workshops for professionals in the industry. PFWorkshops has been touted as the new “Gold Standard” in video and editing training. He currently is a documentary ﬁlmmaker and editor for corporate clients such as The International Monetary Fund, Golf Digest, ABC-TV Nightine, The Travel Channel, John Wiley & Sons, Globe-Pequot Press, Warner Books, Penguin Group Publishing, Scripps-Howard Newspapers, World Childrenʼs Fund, The Reason Foundation, The North Face, Specialized Bikes and Hawaii Forest & Trail Nature Adventure Tours. In addition heʼs ﬁlming an ongoing documentary series on Hawaiian elders.
Bentley grew up in Waikiki and graduated from the University of Hawaii in Honolulu with a B.Ed.degree in 1975. When not traveling he resides on the island of Molokai in Hawaii and enjoys bodyboarding and open ocean paddling.